Uranium is dead, long live uranium

Michael Victory's picture


My Nuke

I live about thirty minutes
southwest of
Nuclear’s Limerick Generating Station, in Chester County, Pennsylvania, in what
was once Old Byers Village. It just so happens, a year old study by the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission (NRC) reemerged this week in the local newspaper.  The study data led to an investigation that
concluded Exelon Nuclear’s Limerick Generating Station is the third most at
risk of damage from an earthquake of all 104 nuclear plants in the nation.

The NRC looked at all 104
nuclear plants in the Unties States and increased the risk probability of an
earthquake damaging many of them. Only eight had their risk of earthquake
damage lowered.

The risk of an earthquake damaging
either or both reactors at Limerick was increased by 141%,making it the third
most at risk, after the Pilgrim Nuclear Plant in Plymouth, Massachusetts and
the Indian Point Atomic Generating Station around BK’s way, in Buchanan, New
York. The analysis found the chance of an earthquake damaging the plant was
raised to 1 in 19,000, a change from the previous study where it was 1 in 45,000. My chance of experiencing
an earthquake is 1000 times greater than me winning Powerball.

The analysis also revealed
that of the top ten nuclear plants at most risk from earthquake damage, three
are in my state, more than in any other. The other two are the Shippingport
Atomic Power Station in Beaver County and the Three Mile Island plant in
Dauphin. I sleep like a baby each night, as NRC’s spokesman recently said NRC
will conduct a further study of Limerick in the future. He also spoke for
Exelon who is confident in the Limerick plant’s ability to withstand whatever
earthquakes might strike the region. Limerick was not designed or built with the
necessity of withstanding a major earthquake in mind.



In my life there have been paths I wish I had taken and choices
that might have been better. But I don’t have an instant replay button or time
machine remote control. The question I ask myself each time I feel uneasy is
whether the cause of my worry is something within my immediate control to fix.
If I reckon it’s not, I let it go. I take stock each day for my family, some
great friends and for the other many blessings in my life because at different
times in the past, I have waited until it was to late to do so.

Nope, I’d rather not live close
to a nuke plant especially one that makes the shit list, but what can I do? On my way
home from work today, I stopped by the local hardware store and picked up a
couple 5 gallon gas cans, just in case. An
 optimist that
carries a raincoat.  There
are a lot of other things more likely to take me out.


Still Long and So Long

week one of my brothers was dumping uranium shares, as I was picking them
up. Bizarre, as my bro subscribes to the contrarian philosophy so regularly. No
worries, I feel solid about future demand for number 92. So long to the feeble.





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Dagny Taggart's picture

Thanks for the post and the insight, Michael. That Ramapo faultline is a tricky one for PA.

Paul E. Math's picture

I don't get it.  The Union Carbide disaster killed 1800 people in Bhopal but I never heard anyone talk about shutting down fertilizer plants.

The Chinese and Indians are going to keep building nuclear power plants for one reason: they have no other choice.

Dislosure: long CCJ and DNN

Flakmeister's picture

See my post above. There is incredible irrationality about nukes...

How about the 100,000 Americans killed in coal mining?


speculator's picture

Good point. I never knew the fatalities were that high. 90% of uranium produced in the US isn't even mined these days - boreholes are drilled and it's dissolved underground and piped up. 


No dangerous underground mining, and no surface removal. 

Flakmeister's picture

Here is another bit that I dug up


Does not appear to include what the Russians, Brits, French, Chinese added to the mix....

100 Rads is 1 Gy...  which for a gamma emitter directly translates to Sv (weight 1) kind of gives you some perspective..

speculator's picture

The uranium stock index was up 10% yesterday to close down 20% for the week. Chart here: http://miningalmanac.com/uranium-index

It's still up 60% since last July and 150% from the 2008 bottom. 

Yen Cross's picture

Deacaying (uranium pellet/rods) breeder rods live on in the name of Plutonium heavy water reactors. They are safer, and heavy water is more naturally occuring than most think.

jeff montanye's picture

are the probabilities in the post reversed?  going from 1 in 19,000 to 1 in 45,000 decreases probability.  and i would have thought that the earthquake risk was on our own little piece of the ring of fire.  but i'm no engineer.

JohnG's picture

"The analysis found the chance of an earthquake damaging the plant was raised in the study from to 1 in 19,000 to 1 in 45,000."

Yup, good catch.

This guy is a little off base, and should stich with the NIA from whence he came.

Selah's picture


If I buy Uranium, can I take delivery?

If you don't hold it, you don't own it (bitches).

Have we not learned a single thing about paper isotopes?


Flakmeister's picture

Just to let you know, Zerohedge is the big leagues, so condescending ignorance is not tolerated....


that is how you own uranium...and I bought 1000 shares on Thursday along with 200 shares of CCJ and 3000 shares of DNN

BTW check the time stamp on #1067729

falak pema's picture

Hi Flak,

On the technology front : Does the USA in its current program envisage putting in these 3rd gen. EPR type reactors we are installing in Europe? Just wondered what's ahead on your side. As nuclear is NOT going to disappear from the future radar of the world scene especially in EM. That is for sure and I assume you've put your money where your mouth is as expressed in your post.

Flakmeister's picture

 I must admit I have been lax in following the details of the 3rd generation of reactors. I have no idea what the knee jerk reaction will entail in the US.

It's damn good thing the authorities were straight up with the populace about the radiation thrown high into the atmosphere from air-testing weapons, I'd love the see the data on the radioactive fall out from the above ground tests and how it compares to today....

The buys are based on the  supply-demand tightness that exists in the aftermath of megatons-to-megawatts program.

JohnG's picture

I herebye junk you for not turning sarcasm off.


Timothy's picture

Copy Jim Rickards' titles much? Literally ripped right from Jim's playbook.

praxis's picture

And to think I considered buying this morning...and got cold feet:




Gmpx's picture

Future predictions must wait until the Fukushima situation is resolved.

There is a chance of nuclear explosion of epic proportions. Even without it, the only way to defuse the situation is to crack reactors open with some sort of brutal force - say vacuum bomb. They loose time on helicopter spraying and on connecting power to dead equipment.

And look at the leaders in jumpsuits crying like babies.

JohnG's picture

"Bizarre, as my bro subscribes to the contrarian philosophy so regularly"


One's contrarian "philosophy" depends on one's particular point of view.

Would you agree?

Or are you contrary? :)

Nuke66's picture

Zero, I suppose you are one who thinks wind and solar will pick up the slack.

And coal is too dirty for you.

Frozen IcQb's picture

Bla Bla... When the're nothing else...
Ontario says it's full steam ahead on nuclear projects





Crumbles's picture

There is little or no chance of an Atlantic ocean tsunami.

Unless, of course, La Palma slides into the sea with an attendant 600 foot wave headed West.

Zero Govt's picture

Uranium is one dumb way to power my toaster, iMac and hall light. Amazingly expensive too. Only politcians are truly dumb and corrupt enough to subsidise this shit. And without Govt (ie. ripped off taxpayers) subsidies this tragic industry goes where it belongs, in the dustbin 

John_Coltrane's picture

You left out the only important question?  Has there ever been a significant earthquake in this part of the country?  From what I could find the last one was a mere 6.5-7 on the Richtor scale (two orders of magnitude than the Japanese one) and occurred in the early 1700s-so you'll die of other causes (like a car accident, heart disease or cancer) long before you have to worry about earthquake damage to a power plant.  There's no subducting tectonic plates action in that region.  The 1 in 19000 is basically a useless statistic which is without any real practical meaning (for example, what time scale?).  Which buildings are more effected by a quake?  Tall buildings in cities like NY and Boston.  And remember, no damage was done to the containment building by the earth shaking.  It was all due to damage to the pumps from the tsunami.  There is little or no chance of an Atlantic ocean tsunami. 

BigDuke6's picture

As a long play uranium has been a dud for years and its a bigger dud now.

Its time will come but you got another minimum 10 years to buy in.

dark pools of soros's picture

i live about 9 miles from it - they can use my pool to cool off some rods - just ask

johnQpublic's picture

good to know

they had an ice dam block the water intake and had a minor release of radioactive steam this winter


next time we'll call you

i'm 30+ miles away and i wasnt so happy to hear this on the morning news...

 i assume you slept in this winter?

gerryscat's picture

Blah, blah, go long. Any comment on China looking hard at thorium?

alien-IQ's picture

I have found one company listed on the NASDAQ that is developing Thorium based fuel technology. LTBR...trading under $6 right now. Very small float (under 10 mil shares)...I'm just starting to do some DD on them....might be worth taking a look at. the stock has held above $5 for the last 3 years with the exception of a short period during the big market meltdown that it dipped to $4 briefly. It has traded as high as $13. Usually very low volume stock...under 250k shares per day.

needless to say this is not a buy recommendation...just saying it might be interesting to look into.

JohnG's picture

You can try reading this:


The latest 8-K, but I am not sure if you can access it without an account.

It's probably available elsewhere?

Long presentation.

Claims to reduce Uranium by 40%, or so they would have you believe.

alien-IQ's picture

Thanks I did download that and I'm going to be going through it tomorrow.

Another recent article I found was this one about Russia partnering with India to develop Thorium reactors. India is said to have 25% of the worlds Thorium reserves.

Here's a link to that article from Jan 2011: Russia keen to partner India in tapping thorium cycle Offers to jointly develop new-age fast neutron reactor. http://www.thehindubusinessline.in/2011/01/10/stories/2011011051780100.htm

I realize that the technology is not all there yet....however, as this situation (nuclear power) will surely be getting more and more attention and debate in the coming months, I think it may be worth doing a little searching for any company that may be working on any even remotely viable alternative. While the technology, as I stated, may not be all there yet, the attention could send any stock in the field on one hell of a run based on potential alone... and let's face it...it's all about the "hopium"...and America and the stock market is really really big on "hopium"

JohnG's picture

You are right, one can get rich on an emerging technology. I sort of did with QCOM in the net bubble.

But, and I have to grit my teeth and smile as I write - I'm starting to reconsider Leo's solars. 

Haven't looked at prices at all, but I just might watch those as well.

alien-IQ's picture

I think the solar stocks have already out priced their realistic potential. Solar is very location specific in that it's effective in some places and not very effective in others. And I think the scale of it's use is limited. You can maybe run a house on it (depending on where you are) but you can't realistically run a city on it regardless of where you are. Same goes for wind and hydrothermal energy.

Here's anther article on Thorium from the World Nuclear Association. It goes into pretty good detail about the pros and cons and potential and limitations.


I'm not very knowledgeable on the subject of science. It's not my field and I don't pretend it is. Thorium was brought to my attention by my nephew...who is quite a geek on such matters. He's working on his masters in some unpronounceable scientific field. When I hit the wall on some of this stuff I call him and ask for a simple explanation.

fredquimby's picture

"You can maybe run a house on it (depending on where you are) but you can't realistically run a city on it regardless of where you are."

This tube of water at the top of the tower and a bunch of mirrors will soon make 300mw of power.....enough juice for 180,000 homes in Seville, Spain.


Last time I looked the US had lots of sunny places?